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Theology and Sacred Scripture


Hans Urs von Balthasar developed a unique style of biblical interpretation. This paper discusses four elements of his scriptural hermeneutics, a topic that offers glimpses of his fundamental theology and his ecclesiology as well. The first element of Balthasar’s hermeneutics is aesthetics. Balthasar’s aesthetic approach to scriptural interpretation stands in contrast with the commonly employed historical-critical method, which he found to be potentially limiting. The second element is theodrama. In Balthasar’s notion of theodramatic hermeneutics, the interpreter is already participating in the very salvation history that is being interpreted. The third and fourth elements of Balthasar’s hermeneutics involve the Trinitarian and ecclesial dimensions of interpretation; that is, he focuses especially on the role of the Holy Spirit and the church in the life of the interpreter.

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Article included in repository with the express permission of the College Theology Society. The website contains information about submitting articles to the society's journal, Horizons, and its annual volume.


Orbis Books

Place of Publication

Maryknoll, NY